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Two days in climate warrior boot camp

Richard Blackwell, Globe & Mail
Dave Mowat is now one of Al Gore’s climate warriors.

Mr. Mowat, chief executive officer of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, spent two days in a Nashville hotel last week being trained to present his own version of Mr. Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to Canadian audiences.

Mr. Mowat rubbed shoulders with 200 other business leaders, environmentalists, scientists and luminaries — including A-list actress Cameron Diaz — as they got tips from the former U.S. vice-president on how to make the case for action against global warming.

Mr. Gore’s slideshow and lecture, and the movie based on it, has been such a success that a non-profit foundation called the Climate Project was set up to help train others to spread the word around the world.

…Each participant — selected after filling out an application on the group’s website — paid their own way to Nashville and for their own accommodation. The training sessions, course materials and food were free. The only stipulation: each person gives at least 10 presentations to groups back home over the next 12 months.

While the event sounds like a cross between religious retreat and Tupperware sales convention, Mr. Mowat says it was anything but.

“It didn’t have that kind of evangelical tone to it,” he said. “It wasn’t a pound the table, ‘we’ve got to get to the people and change the world’ kind of [emphasis].”

Rather, Mr. Gore is merely trying to facilitate those who want to get an important message to a wider public, he said.
(12 Jan 2007)

Lloyd’s boss demands action on climate change

Justin Cole, AFP via Yahoo!News
Governments and businesses must act now against climate change, and the United States needs a bigger public debate about its risks, the chairman of the Lloyd’s insurance market said.

Peter Levene warned that vast storms bigger than Hurricane Katrina are likely to batter the United States in coming years despite a relatively calm 2006 Atlantic hurricane season.

“Today the insurance industry faces the prospect of a 100-billion-dollar mega-catastrophe twice the size of Katrina,” Levene said in a speech at Washington’s National Press Club.

Levene, formerly a skeptic on climate change, runs the world’s biggest insurance market at London-based Lloyd’s.
(12 Jan 2007)

McKibben: Step It Up

Bill McKibben, Grist
The most important question about global warming right now is: what do I do once I’ve changed the damned lightbulbs?

And one small answer is StepItUp2007.

This is the first of 12 dispatches I’ll write, one a week through mid-April, that will chronicle the first nationwide do-it-yourself mass protest, and by far the biggest demonstration yet against global warming.

If all goes well — and by “all going well,” I mean “if you help” — then on Saturday, April 14, we’ll kick off the approach to Earth Day with hundreds upon hundreds of simultaneous rallies all across America, designed to start pressuring Congress to take decisive action on climate change.

Americans will gather in iconic places across the country. Some will be familiar at a glance: the top of the Grand Teton, underwater off Hawaii’s coral reefs, on the levees above the Ninth Ward, along a blue line on Canal Street in Manhattan that marks the city’s possible new beachfront. Others will be less famous: the steps of your church, the picnic grove in your city park, the biggest barn in your county. But everywhere people will be saying, loud and clear, that it’s finally time for serious action from Washington, D.C., on the mightiest problem the world has ever faced.

All you need to take part is a crowd — small in small places, bigger in big places — and a digital camera. By nightfall we’ll have a cascade of images for everyone, including local and national media, to look at. We’ll have proof that Americans care deeply enough to act. It should be lovely in every sense of the word.

Bill McKibben is a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College. His next book, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, will be published in March.
(8 Jan 2007)
McKibben’s new book will sound the relocalization theme:

McKibben’s animating idea is that we need to move beyond “growth” as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment.

Warming of mass destruction

Mark Fiore, Working for Change

Short animation about global warming.
(13 Jan 2007)